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A Review of the Impact of Hydrogen Integration in Natural Gas Distribution Networks and Electric Smart Grids

Leonardo Vidas (), Rui Castro () and Armando Pires ()
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Leonardo Vidas: Instituto Superior Técnico, University of Lisbon, 1049-001 Lisboa, Portugal
Rui Castro: INESC-ID/IST, University of Lisbon, 1000-029 Lisboa, Portugal
Armando Pires: SustainRD, EST Setúbal, Polytechnic Institute of Setubal, 2914-508 Setubal, Portugal

Energies, 2022, vol. 15, issue 9, 1-23

Abstract: Hydrogen technologies have been rapidly developing in the past few decades, pushed by governments’ road maps for sustainability and supported by a widespread need to decarbonize the global energy sector. Recent scientific progress has led to better performances and higher efficiencies of hydrogen-related technologies, so much so that their future economic viability is now rarely called into question. This article intends to study the integration of hydrogen systems in both gas and electric distribution networks. A preliminary analysis of hydrogen’s physical storage methods is given, considering both the advantages and disadvantages of each one. After examining the preeminent ways of physically storing hydrogen, this paper then contemplates two primary means of using it: integrating it in Power-to-Gas networks and utilizing it in Power-to-Power smart grids. In the former, the primary objective is the total replacement of natural gas with hydrogen through progressive blending procedures, from the transmission pipeline to the domestic burner; in the latter, the set goal is the expansion of the implementation of hydrogen systems—namely storage—in multi-microgrid networks, thus helping to decarbonize the electricity sector and reducing the impact of renewable energy’s intermittence through Demand Side Management strategies. The study concludes that hydrogen is assumed to be an energy vector that is inextricable from the necessary transition to a cleaner, more efficient, and sustainable future.

Keywords: hydrogen technologies; hydrogen economy; hydrogen storage methods; natural gas infrastructures; smart grids (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Q Q0 Q4 Q40 Q41 Q42 Q43 Q47 Q48 Q49 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022
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